dogs, designer dogs, yorkipoo, yorkie poo, stairs

Stop and Stair

dogs, designer dogs, yorkipoo, yorkie poo, stairs


Today on our way out of the office Sadie changed her normal routine. It wasn’t a big change, but it seemed really deliberate. It left me thinking for the rest of the day about whether she made a random, one time choice or if she actually learned from past experience and planned her actions accordingly.

Every day when we leave our office, Sadie runs ahead of me down the stairs. She waits until I lock the office door, then heads down to the first landing. She waits there until I give her the signal that she can continue. She repeats the process of waiting at the landing for my OK twice more, until we reach the ground floor. There she waits in front of the door for me to hook her leash onto her harness and then we can leave. I always put her collar and harness on before we leave our office, but I wait for the leash until we reach the bottom of the stairs. I’m always worried that if I’m not fast enough and she has the leash on, it will pull and make her trip and fall down the stairs. So when I get to the bottom of the stairs, I have to reach down and clip on her leash, often dropping my purse and other bags in the process. Eventually I get it hooked correctly and head out of the building to go home.

But today when we got to the final landing and I gave the signal for Sadie to go down the last of the stairs, she didn’t move. I figured she was just waiting for me, so I started down the last little flight ahead of her, assuming she would follow right behind me. But she still didn’t budge. I told her to come, but she just looked at the leash in my hand and stayed put. So I walked back towards the stairs and Sadie stretched down a couple of steps until her harness was level with my hands. From that position it was really easy to clip on her leash without dropping my bags or putting anything down. As soon as the leash was clipped, Sadie happily trotted down the last few steps and waited for me to open the door.

So did Sadie notice how I usually struggle to clip on her leash at the bottom of the stairs and decide to help me out by staying at a higher level? She is sometimes startled when I drop my purse or other items as I’m bending to reach her. Did Sadie purposely stay above me to avoid falling objects? I’ll never know for sure the answers to these questions, but It seems to me that the more we repeat an action, the better Sadie gets at knowing what she needs to do in that situation and the best way to do it.


This post is part of the Thoughtless Thursday blog hop hosted by Ruckus the Eskie and Love is Being Owned By a Husky.


This post is also part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like A Dog. B&B3b_Fotor





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  1. I think most dogs are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. I bet she just learned to anticipate the unpleasantness of dropping objects and figured out a way to avoid it! I can’t think of any specific memory at the moment, but there have been many times when I’ve been amazed by Destiny’s problem-solving/logical skills 🙂
    Asia recently posted…National Pet Memorial Week, Day 5My Profile

  2. I do the same thing with my dog Milo. He always has his collar on in the house, and I have one flight down from my condo to the exterior door, or 2 flights to the parking garage. I have him run ahead to the door before I put the leash on. I’m more afraid that I’ll fall down the stairs than he will trip but either way it seems safer without the leash on.
    Karen Goodman recently posted…Road Trip with Dogs – Choosing Pet Friendly HotelsMy Profile

  3. Thanks so much for joining the Barks and Bytes hop. I am late getting around this week. 🙂 I think dogs figure things out and it sounds like Sadie has learned how to make it easier on you. Or maybe she is afraid you will drop something on her…lol.
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Help Yourself!My Profile

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